Revision 3 as of 2006-06-18 22:00:57

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Network Manager

Network Manager aims for Network Connectivity which "Just Works". The computer should use the wired network connection when its plugged in, but automatically switch to a wireless connection when the user unplugs it and walks away from the desk. Likewise, when the user plugs the computer back in, the computer should switch back to the wired connection. The user should, most times, not even notice that their connection has has been managed for them; they should simply see uninterrupted network connectivity.

More information about Network Manager is available [ here] .

Network-Manager is beta software. You can find packages in [ breezy/universe]


Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper)

  1. Applications, Add/Remove Programs
  2. Find Network Manager in the Internet section
  3. Check the adjacent box to select Network Manager for installation
  4. Click OK
  5. Log out and back in again

Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy)

  1. Enable Universe (AddingRepositoriesHowto)

  2. Install NetworkManager and its dependencies by network-manager

  3. Log out and back in again

Compile from cvs

Get build dependencies and check out networkmanager cvs code by

sudo apt-get build-dep network-manager
cvs -d login
cvs -d co NetworkManager
cd NetworkManager
./ --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var
sudo make install

VPN support

NetworkManager VPN support is based on plug-in system. You can download some plugins (cisco vpn, openvpn, pptp) form [ here]. There are build for debian but they work very well on my Ubuntu 6.06, no warning, no errors... just be sure to restart your networkmanager daemon.


Configuring Devices

Devices which are automatically configured on boot will not be available in NetworkManager. To allow network manager to use all of your devices remove instances of auto in /etc/network/interfaces. (apart from the "auto lo" line, which is needed for the loopback interface)


Go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions In the Startup Programs tab, click Add type "nm-applet", click OK. log out of your gnome session, and log back in again.

Other Window Managers/Desktop Environments

add nm-applet to your startup

Note: nm-applet is now part of the network-manager-gnome package which is recommended when you install the network-manager package but may not have been installed.


If nm-applet gives this error message

WARNING **: <WARNING>   (): nmwa_dbus_init() could not acquire its service.  dbus_bus_acquire_service() says: 'Connection ":1.26" is not allowed to own the service "org.freedesktop.NetworkManagerInfo" due to security policies in  the configuration file'

try launching nm-applet with

nm-applet --sm-disable

If it still dosen't work you'd have to edit the dbus-1 configuration files for both NetworkManager and nm-applet (this might be a security compromise, if there's another way to get nm-applet to work, please add it here).

Change the default policy context in both /etc/dbus-1/system.d/NetworkManager.conf and /etc/dbus-1/system.d/nm-applet.conf so it says 'allow' instead of 'deny'.

<policy context="default">
        <allow own="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager"/>
        <allow send_destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager"/>
        <allow send_interface="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager"/>

Then restart dbus

sudo /etc/init.d/dbus restart

and launch the applet


Note: if you upgraded from Breezy to Dapper and you had modified files in /etc/pam.d/ it is possible that they were not altered properly to include a reference to the pam_foreground module. /etc/pam.d/common-session should look like this:

session required
session required

This will also affect [ Gnome Power Manager] and Gnome Volume Manager. See [ this bug] for more info.


If it is not managing your network connections after upgrading to Dapper, you'll need to comment out the references to all interfaces (except lo) in /etc/network/interfaces to let NetworkManager handle them.

sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.bak
sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

It should look similar to this when you are done:

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# This is a list of hotpluggable network interfaces.
# They will be activated automatically by the hotplug subsystem.
# auto eth1

# iface eth1 inet dhcp

Then reboot and you should be good to go!

Alternative Version (no BIND dependency)

There is an alternative version of Network Manager (for Breezy) that has no BIND dependency. Some people have DNS troubles with the version in the repos, and removing the BIND dependency eliminates a possible security hole (not that BIND is insecure, but eliminating it only improves security). Look at [ this page] for more information and to download necessary packages. Additional information is available [ here].

WPASuplicant Problems in Dapper

Network Manager 0.6 started to use WPAsuplicant for all encrypted connection. This can be a problem as a number of drivers do not support all needed interfaces for WPAsuplicant yet. If you do not need WPA, then you can downgrade to NM 0.5. You need to download the following packages.




these can be installed by double clicking, or using dpkg -i packagename.deb

User comment

An interesting thing happens if you combine Network Manager with ["Wifidocs/Driver/Ndiswrapper"]. Since the command "ndiswrapper -m" only creates an alias, eg. "alias wlan0 ndiswrapper", the module will only be loaded when the interface wlan0 is used. But since Network Manager requires an empty interfaces list, ndiswrapper never gets loaded. A possible fix is to add a line "ndiswrapper" to /etc/modules. I hope this is the right place for this comment, YungChinOei

Dont be like me. I spent an hour trying to get nm-applet to appear on the panel only to realize that I had removed the Notification Area. If yours is missing, right click panel > Add to panel > Notification Area > Add. Dyssident

CategoryDocumentation CategoryCleanup